Public and Private Partnerships
The Robert Lackey family of Hickory announced in August 2014 that they would be working with the City to establish a memorial for Deidra Lackey, Robert Lackey's late wife, by improving approximately 20 acres of the waterfront at the City-owned Geitner-Rotary Park and the parks that link to it. This memorial gift to the City of Hickory and the community will be the single largest donation in the City's history. The renovated park will be at one end of the Riverwalk, one of the City's bond projects.
Friends of Hickory - Lowes Foods City Park
The Friends of Hickory’s first project was the development of a downtown park that incorporates an interactive water feature, an attractive place to sit and enjoy, as well as a place where children can explore the unique "unrestricted play" equipment. The historic downtown area attracts a wide variety of businesses and visitors to Hickory. The addition of the park enhances the appeal of shopping, dining, and doing business in Union Square, offering an active destination for young visitors and their families.
Kiwanis Park Splash Pad
Kiwanis International celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2015, coinciding with the decision of the Hickory Kiwanis and Western Catawba County Kiwanis Clubs to partner with the City of Hickory to fund construction of the splash pad. The two Kiwanis Clubs pledged to raise $100,000 towards the construction costs in return for receiving naming rights to the splash pad.
Mountain Bike Trails
Hickory citizens Kirk Brittain and Brad Stevens approached the City in early 2017, seeking to adopt the trails between Hickory City Park and Rotary-Geitner Park and spearhead an effort to improve them so that mountain bikers of all skill levels could enjoy them. Brittain and Stevens are both members of the Northwest North Carolina Mountain Bike Alliance (The Alliance), a 501(c)(3) chapter of SORBA, the Southern Off Road Bicycle Association. The project and funding were run through The Alliance for its expertise in this arena and non-profit status. Known as the Lake Hickory Trails, the system of mountain biking trails includes a 1.8-mile beginner flow trail, a 4-mile intermediate loop, a pump track, and an advanced jump line.
Hickory City Park
In April 2015, the City of Hickory joined with the Greater Hickory Tennis Association in a priority use agreement for tennis complex improvements at Hickory City Park. The GHTA agreed to contribute $125,000 toward the improvement project, and that commitment was paid in full on August 23, 2018. Improvements included a major parking lot renovation, which increased parking capacity from 20 parking spaces to 122 parking spaces, a new entrance road into the park, as well as a new 1,900 square foot multi-use facility featuring restrooms, an indoor meeting space, and an outdoor covered shelter area.
Bruce Meisner Park
The future Bruce Meisner Park is being planned to utilize 73 acres of beautiful property at the intersection of N.C. 127 and Cloninger Mill Road. In the early planning stages, the park was intended to occupy only 63 acres, with 10 acres reserved for commercial development. In 2015, Outward Bound of North Carolina came to the City and offered to donate $900,000 so that the 10-acre commercial property could be reserved for park use. Phase 1 of park development is now underway.